Political and Military Relations


In recent years, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Sudan have invested in strengthening their diplomatic ties often through supporting and enhancing their respective military capabilities.

  • In 1991, then-Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani made an official visit to Khartoum accompanied by over 150 Iranian officials. During the trip, Iran pledged to give Sudan $17 million in financial aid and arranged for an additional $300 million in Chinese weapons to be delivered. (The Weekly Standard)
  • In November 1995, a military delegation from Iran visited Khartoum in order to make a new assessment of Sudan's military needs, yielding Sudan a windfall of armored cars, heavy artillery, and radar equipment. (The Weekly Standard)
  • In May 1996, the two countries signed an agreement to broaden the scope of their cooperation. (The Weekly Standard)
  • In 1997, Iran agreed to send “thousands of “construction mujahidin,” a paramilitary organization, to Sudan to help build logistical infrastructure.” (The New York Times)
  • Between 2004 and 2006, Iran reportedly sold $12 million worth of arms to Sudan, including $8 million in tanks. Sudan also bought armored combat vehicles from Iran. (Human Rights First)
  • In January 2007, the Iranian defense minister told the Sudanese defense minister that Iran was ready to increase military cooperation between the two states. (Sudan Tribune)
  • In March 2008, Iran and Sudan signed a military cooperation agreement to bolster bilateral military relations. At the time Iran’s defense minister noted, “Expansion of ties with Islamic and African countries, especially brotherly and friendly country of Sudan, is on top of Iran’s foreign policy agenda.” (Sudan Tribune)
  • In September 2008, Iran’s foreign minister expressed Iran’s opposition to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. (Eurasia Press & News)
  • In January 2009, Israeli aircraft attacked an Iranian 23-truck convoy in the Sudanese desert transporting arms from Sudan to Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (TIME)
  • In July 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement claimed that members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as well as Somali militants, arrived in Sudan to fight alongside the Sudan Armed Forces in South Kordofan State. (Sudan Tribune)
  • In September 2011, President Ahmadinejad visited Khartoum on a state visit aimed at building political and economic ties between the two states. (Al Jazeera)
  • In September 2011, members of the Qods Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, based in Sudan, reportedly stole surface-to-air missiles from Libya and smuggled them to Sudan. (The Telegraph)
  • In May 2012, Iran invited President Bashir to attend the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) planned for August 2012. (Sudan Tribune)
  • On October 24, 2012, Israel reportedly bombed a weapons factory in Khartoum. (Reuters)
  • In October 29, 2012, Iran announced that it docked two warships in Sudan, following the bombing of an arms factory in Sudan. (Voice of America News)